Confident. Outgoing. Musician.
Confident and outgoing music student, Jake (age 17), lives with his mum, dad and three brothers in Swindon. Born with a shorter right arm and two fingers on his right hand, Jake’s academic ability, as well as his innate talent for art and music, was quickly evident.
The family had struggled to find any prosthetics suitable for someone with a partial hand, until they came across Koalaa. We caught up with mum Lisa, to find out more.
When did you find out about Jake’s limb difference?
We first found out about Jake’s limb difference when he was born.
We took the news in our stride but came out of hospital with no information or guidance - Google was our best friend. We did some research and also came across a charity called Reach, who support families with children with limb differences. This ended up being great for Jake, as he got to meet other children like him.
Jake is really confident and outgoing. He loves all kinds of music but especially playing the guitar, which he has been lucky enough to do as part of the National Open Youth Orchestra (NOYO).
At school he was always a high-flyer and he’s just started studying for his A Levels, which are again focused on his passion for music.
For us, it’s never been about what you haven’t got, it’s about what you have got.
Jake’s limb difference has opened doors to opportunities that he might not otherwise have got and we’re just embracing all that it brings.
When did you first hear about Koalaa prosthetics?
We first came across Koalaa at a Reach activity weekend. The timing was perfect as we’d just started having a look around to see if there were any prosthetics available for those with partial hands, but we hadn’t found anything.
Jake had never tried a prosthetic before and hadn’t really needed one, as he has always just made do and worked out his own way of doing this. As parents, we’ve always had the attitude that Jake’s hand may be different but that’s not an excuse not to do something!
We were very open minded about Koalaa and to see what the prosthetics were like. At the Reach event, the Koalaa team fitted Jake there and then. And by the time we got home he was waving it about everywhere and showing it off to his brothers!
How does Jake use his Koalaa prosthetic?
For Jake, his Koalaa gives him confidence.
Before going to college this year, he had been surrounded by people who knew about his limb difference. So, it was a big change being on a much larger campus.
Apart from a few times in lessons when he might take it off, Jake has his Koalaa on all the time. Wearing his Koalaa when going from class to class means people don’t stare or ask him questions. It’s really helped him feel more comfortable and confident.
Something else he finds his Koalaa useful for is typing and he’s currently trying the stylus tool out. He was struggling to do the control-alt-delete command and it’s helped with that.
He’s also thinking of starting drumming, so we may look at that tool too.
What would you say to someone thinking of getting a Koalaa prosthetic?
Give it a go. When we first heard about it, I wasn’t sure if it would be suitable for Jake’s particular limb difference - as a partial hand is quite a niche thing and there was nothing out there for it. Until now!
I also wasn’t sure if Jake would be interested, as he’s so confident we thought he probably wouldn’t be, but he was very keen to try it and give it a go. Now he’s really enthusiastic about it and uses it consistently.
It fits comfortably and is useful for some tasks I struggle with, like typing. I think it looks sleek and doesn’t stand out too much, which I think is a positive.
I use it for various things, but where it helps me the most is the confidence it gives me to do stuff day to day with my disability!
Interested in our prosthetic tools?
If you want to check out the tools Jake is using in his photos, click the links below: